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Tool Lending Library Opens and I Donate a Trimmer that Intimidated Me

Volunteer Laura Lising greets Tool Library Visitor Greg Rusk

Great news! Greenbelt Makerspace Cooperative has launched a Tool Lending Library in its new Granite Building location in Roosevelt Center.

How it Works

The Library’s tentative hours (depending on volunteer staffing) are Fridays 5:30 pm to 7 pm and Sundays 11 am to 1 pm.

The Library pays rent and insurance through donations and annual membership with fees according to income (from $20 to $50 per year).

Click to volunteer: (Sign up at SignUpGenius)

Click to join the library.

Click to donate.

Or Donate a Tool!

I bought this string trimmer months ago and here it sat on my porch while I resisted even trying to figure out how to use it. That’s how mechanically challenged I am! I finally snapped this photo so I could post it to a local Facebook group, hoping to find a good Samaritan who’d show me how to use it.

Two people actually volunteered! A training session was arranged, after which I was still unsure how to use the (now cursed) tool. A friend familiar with trimmers volunteered to show me how and immediately concluded that this trimmer was beyond her experience, deeming it “too complicated.”

That’s when I gave up and decided to hire someone to do the trimming for me and donate this (more curses) tool! The job – trimming groundcover away from paths and inner sidewalks – took about 15 minutes.

I would have returned the trimmer for a refund but I’d thrown away the packing (more cursing over this mistake), so I was happy to find the perfect place to donate it to. Here it rests outside the Library during its open house last weekend.

When I handed over the tool to the Library volunteers I learned that providing training in the use of tools is one of their goals – great idea!

The Goals of the Library Include:

• Equity: provide access to everyone for making repairs and creating
• Sustainability: reduce number of tools manufactured and trashed
• Community: abundance for all our neighbors
• Growth: opportunity for growth, learning, experimentation
• Cost: share cost of purchase and maintenance
• Space: access to hundreds of tools without needing to store them
• Knowledge: space for learning, training and workshops
• Confidence: build skills and confidence at your own pace

Memories of Takoma Park’s Tool Library

Funny story! Years ago I lived in Takoma Park when it had a city-run tool lending library, located in a trailer in back of the municipal building. Sadly, so few residents actually used the library that after the city complained repeated about residents’ lack of interest, it was closed. What the city didn’t acknowledge publicly, but was talked about by almost everyone else? The library was staffed by the weirdest, scariest person in town!

MakerSpace is Back!

I learned that it’s not just the Tool Lending Library that’s up and running right there in the Granite Building – the Greenbelt MakerSpace Cooperative is there, too.  Yes, it’s come back to Roosevelt Center years after its space next to the Old Greenbelt Theatre was closed. (The space is now the theater’s second screen). I see from the Greenbelt Makers website that “We also plan to return to developing resources and programs to engage our members in activities related to science, technology, arts, and crafts.” And let’s not forget that they “depend on annual memberships, donations, grants, and sponsorships.”

Follow Susan Harris:
Susan started blogging about Greenbelt soon after moving here in 2012, and that first blog has grown into this nonprofit community website. She also created and curates the Greenbelt Maryland YouTube channel. In 2021 Susan joined the Board of Directors of Greenbelt Access TV. Retired from garden writing and teaching, she continues to blog at GardenRant.com.

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